By Neil Puffett
The government is being called upon to rethink its approach to asylum after a report has exposed the problems faced by those individuals and families granted permission to stay in the country for just five years.
A report by the Refugee Council found that the policy of limited leave, which applies to children and adults, had a negative effect on those staying in the country including uncertainty over education and work arrangements.
The Labour government introduced the policy of limited leave in 2005. The first of those cases are now filtering through the immigration system, providing the basis for the report's findings.
"Refugees who have proved their need for protection are living with the fear of return hanging over their heads, and the time-limited nature of their status has created barriers to accessing employment and education," the charity's report states.Limited leave applies to those who are granted refugee status but means they are subject to a review of that status at any time.
Prior to the 2005 change, refugees were given indefinite leave to remain once they received a positive decision in their asylum case.
The report calls for a review of limited leave, a return to the previous system and for steps to be taken in the meantime to clarify the process for refugees.
A Home Office spokesman was unable to say whether or not a review will take place.
The Refugee Council is asking refugees who are currently applying for indefinite leave to remain at the moment to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Download the report (PDF)